Athens Holidays - National Library of Greece

The National Library of Greece (Greek: Εθνική Βιβλιοθήκη) is situated near the center of city of Athens.
It was designed by the Danish architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen, as part of his famous Trilogy
of neo-classical buildings including the Academy of Athens and the original building of the Athens University.

The original idea for establishing a National Library came from the philhellene Jacob Mayer, in an August 1824
article of his newspaper Greek Chronicles, published at Messolonghi, where Mayer had been struggling
alongside Lord Byron for Greece's independence. Mayer's idea was carried out in 1829 by the new Greek
government of John Kapodistrias, who grouped together the National Library with other intellectual institutions
such as schools, national museums, and printing houses. These were all placed in the Orphanage of Aegina,
under the supervision of Andreas Moustoksidis, who thus became president of the committee of the
Orphanage, director of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, and director of the National School.

At the end of 1830, the library, which Moustokaidis called the National Library, held 1,018 volumes of
printed books, which had been collected from Greeks and philhellenes. In 1834, the Library moved to
Athens, the new capital, and was at first temporarily housed in the public bath at the Roman Market and
then later in the Church of St. Eleftherios, next to the Cathedral and other important buildings.

The collection grew rapidly. In addition to the purchase of books from private libraries, carried out under the
supervision of Dimitris Postolakas (1,995 volumes), the Library accepted many large donations of books,
like one from Christoforos and Konstantinos Sakellarios (5,400 volumes) and one from Markos Renieris (3,401 volumes).

In 1842, the Public Library merged with the Athens University library (15,000 volumes), and was housed together
with the currency collection at the new building of Otto's University. George Kozakis-Typaldos was appointed
as the first director of the newly enlarged institution, remaining in his post until 1863. At this time, the Library
was enriched with significant donations and with rare foreign language books from all over Europe.
With the royal charter of 1866, the two libraries merged, and were administered as the "National Library of Greece".

On 16 March 1888 the foundation stone for a neoclassical marble building was laid, financed by three Kefallonian-born
brothers of the Diaspora, Panagis, Marinos and Andreas Vallianos. The Library remained in the University building
until 1903, when it was moved to the new building which was designed by Theophil Hansen and supervised by Ernst Ziller.

Today, the Library is still housed at the Vallianos building, as well as at two other buildings, at Agia Paraskevi
and Nea Halkidona. The valuable collections of their combined materials represent the written Greek cultural treasure.

(Information from Wekipedia)

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The National National Library of Greece, one of Theophil Hansen's "Trilogy" in central Athens.

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The main building of the Academy of Athens, another one of Theophil Hansen's "Trilogy" in central Athens.

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  1. Hello my friend! How have you been?
    Haven't heard from you for a while.

    This library is so majestic, it looks more like a supreme court than a library.
    I don't know if this is just me - after walking around Athens for a couple days, I noticed most of their major buildings look pretty similar. ;)

  2. 好久沒見你更新了


  3. Hi London Caller! I'm fine, just a bit lazy to update my blog...

    Yeah, the building in Athens are similar,
    because they are neo-classical buildings,
    all have the same columns in front...
    Actually my friend said their food are
    similar in all restaurant... but I quite like it!

  4. Thanks uLi! Have a nice weekend! ^.^

  5. 多謝San哥哥關心, 其實都不是太忙, 只是有點懶...
    其實不只少了更新BLOG, 都少了拍照...
    可能最近太多天災, 唔多唔少影響了心情...

    我經過那裡幾次, 天氣好才拍, 是上午11時左右,
    其實對面是大街有幾間大商場, 都幾多遊人...

  6. 唔知入面係唔係都係咁古代haha

  7. 我冇入去呀, 不過學校同圖書館通常都裝修得比較現代化...

  8. 你从下面拍上去那个celing和图案,那一根根的柱子,出来的效果很特别,很好看。

  9. How does it look inside the National library? Do they allow photography inside?

  10. the view looking up the column is soooo nice. great shots.

    i just got back from japan and hong kong safely. thanks :D

  11. 謝謝helloninie欣賞照片, 那些圓柱真的很特別很美!

  12. Hi Ai Shiang! I didn't visit inside,
    because I'm not sure if they are open for public...
    and didn't saw many people around...

  13. Hi Lily Riani, thanks for appreciation!
    I'm glad to hear you back home safe! ^.^

  14. Show architecture, music and photos. It's good to see. Amazing

  15. Anonymous31/3/11 01:32

    Very interesting your post and your photos are always so magical !! :))


  16. Thanks tossan, I'm glad to hear your appreciation!

  17. Thanks Mahon, nice to know that you like these photos!

  18. Thanks taio, nice to meet you!


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